VIDEO: Overcoming opioids is difficult for our neighbors struggling with drug addiction.
First Responders are taking a new approach to help people who have recently overdosed, find a new life.
“I started using heroin when I was 16. I'm 51 years old now. Last month was my first overdose and I think that was my wake up call,” said Abel Martinez.
His deep brown eyes do little to reveal everything that’s happened in those 51 years.
“The biggest thing that I have now is hope.”
Martinez says he’s traded heroin for that new h-word. Hope is a state of mind he hasn’t had in decades.
The change started with a visit from the fire department. Deon Popoy and Isaac Gomez are members of the first Texas Targeted Opioid Response team, called TTOR. It's a subdivision of the San Antonio Fire Department's Mobile Integrated Healthcare Unit.
KENS5.com San Antonio
Country music legend Dolly Parton on Saturday donated $200,000 to firefighters to wrap up a fundraising drive that she started shortly after the 2016 wildfires that destroyed large swaths of forest in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding area.
On behalf of the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund, Parton presented the check to the fire chiefs of the eight volunteer fire departments located in Sevier County.
“It’s only fitting that the last of the My People Fund will go to those who were the first to respond to the fires,” Parton said.
The wildfires killed 14 people, injured 134 and destroyed 10,000 acres, about 15 square miles, in the national park, and an additional 6,000 acres outside the park. More than 2,000 buildings were destroyed in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area.
Each department receives $20,000 of the money for needed resources and equipment. The final $40,000 will go toward the construction of a new classroom at the countywide training center.
Less than three years after state officials concocted a plan to boost payments for ambulance services, emergency medical administrators say they're still struggling to keep their doors open.
Leaders of ambulance organizations from across Vermont converged on the Statehouse Friday to talk about insurance reimbursement and workforce issues that continue to cause problems in the increasingly expensive business of emergency treatment and transport.
Those issues are affecting the ability of some services to respond to calls, or even to stay open.
“I am absolutely concerned,” said Drew Hazelton, operations chief at Brattleboro-based Rescue Inc. “I'm concerned about the fact that we have services that have closed and we have services that are on the verge of closing.”
Ambulance financial issues are not new, and some of the problem is due to the vagaries of the insurance reimbursement system.
The New Carlisle Town Council and Olive Township Board voted Tuesday to establish a joint fire territory in 2020.
By increasing taxes, the move will enable several firefighters to be hired so that residents don’t depend solely on volunteers for service.
The vote was 3-2 from the town council members, and the Olive Township representatives voted 2-1 on the measure.
Although several residents spoke against the measure at the meeting, which drew more than 100 people, the boards decided to approve it.
“There were some negative comments, but it’s our job to prove them wrong and be the best fire department that we can be,” said Josh Schweitzer, current volunteer fire chief.
Supporters of the territory say it is no longer safe for residents to rely on the volunteer-based New Carlisle Fire Department. Not enough volunteers respond to emergencies, they say, and a paid staff is needed to protect the public and serve the industrial area east of the town.
South Bend Tribune
A planned $9 million firehouse for the 60 or so firefighters at the 182nd Airlift Wing could be eliminated to help fund a proposed border wall.
That’s according to a list released Monday by the Pentagon of military construction projects that could be delayed in order to pay for the wall along the country’s southern border.
For years, the Illinois Air National Guard unit at the Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport has provided fire service to both the military and the civilian side of the airport as well as helping to respond, when needed, to fires nearby. They are also responsible for providing fire and emergency medical coverage to the Army National Guard’s helicopter units located nearby. Pilots in those units fly UH-60 Blackhawks and Ch-47F Chinooks. There’s also an unnamed aerial vehicle unit located within the Army’s facility as well.
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, all decried the move.